Even though they’re way out of the wild card chase, the Philadelphia Phillies have been making things exciting lately. They came into tonight’s game with two straight come-from-behind, walk-off wins in the bottom of the 9th inning – the first time they had done that in 35 years, since June 6th and 7th, 1978. The Phillies would up the ante tonight, and move that streak to three games with a walk-off 4-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks, in town for a three game series, sent Wade Miley to the mound to face Cole Hamels. Both pitchers have similar numbers, but Hamels came in with just a 5-13 record. Neither pitcher would receive a decision tonight, as things would be determined in the late innings yet again.
The scoring began in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with Darin Ruf hitting his 10th home run of the year. Ruf, who has 16 RBI to go with his 10 home runs, has hit 8 of his 10 home runs in August. This was his second in two nights. The Phillies would spot Cole Hamels an early 1-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks would reclaim the lead in the 4th inning. After Adam Eaton was hit by a pitch, Paul Goldschmidt would pop up to left field on a ball that Domonic Brown did not see. The ball would drop, and Goldschmidt would move to second base, with Eaton moving up to third base. Martin Prado would then double in both men, and Matt Davidson would bring Prado home later in the inning to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.
The Phillies would tie the game back up in the 6th inning. Kevin Frandsen singled, Utley was hit by a pitch, and Dom Brown would load the bases with a single. Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies’ hottest hitter right now, would step to the plate and lace a double into left field to bring Frandsen and Utley home. Wade Miley would get the third out, but would be pulled after the 6th. Over six innings, Miley allowed 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and struck out 2. He would receive a no-decision on the night.
After his troublesome 4th inning, Hamels would shut the Diamondbacks down for the rest of his evening. In a no decision, he would last 7 innings, allow 6 hits, 3 runs, one walk, and struck out four. Both starters, who are top of the rotation guys, had decent outings, but neither would receive a decision in this game.
Both bullpens would take over and keep the opposing team off the board – J.J. Putz and former high-octane closer Heath Bell for the Diamondbacks, and B.J. Rosenberg and Jonathan Papelbon for the Phillies. However, Heath Bell would remain in for the bottom of the 9th inning.
Things would go wrong for Bell tonight in the bottom of the 9th, and right for the Phillies in the home half of the night for the third straight game, and the fourth time in the last six games. Cody Asche led off with a single, his first major league pinch hit, and Jimmy Rollins helped Asche get to third on a single of his own. Michael Young was intentionally walked, and the bases were loaded with nobody out.
Bell got a huge out with Kevin Frandsen at the plate, striking him out. Bell was lifted at this point in favor of lefty reliever Eury De La Rosa, who has held left-handed hitters to an .083 average this year. De La Rosa was brought in to face Utley and Brown, but he would only have to face Utley with the bases loaded. Chase would work a 3-2 count, and took a fastball that was just inside, bringing Cody Asche home to win the game in walk-off fashion. Heath Bell would be charged with the loss, and Jonathan Papelbon would get the win.
While a walk-off walk may not be the most exciting way to walk off, the Phillies were still able to get the win. With tonight’s series opening win against the Diamondbacks, the Phillies have now won 3 straight games. They climb to 58-70 with the win, and the Diamondbacks fall to 65-62. Randall Delgado and Ethan Martin square off tomorrow night in game two of the series.
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